Joy Ignites Success

I Could Choose Peace Instead of This

By - Thursday, March 24, 2016



Many, many years ago, while I was still single and living in NYC, I read Gerald Jampolsky’s book, Say Good-Bye to Guilt. Of the many brilliant things he wrote about, one piece I chose to work with at that time was the 34th lesson from A Course in Miracles “I could see peace instead of this”. Somehow in my mind, I had translated the word see to choose, but I don’t think it had an effect on how I worked with the lesson. Over 30 years later, I still find this to be one of my most useful lessons.
What the lesson tells us is that peace is always an option because it is an inside job. The ability to find peace even in the most tumultuous situations lies within. This is poignantly demonstrated in the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor who writes about psychologically overcoming even the most unbearable of situations.

When I was actively working with this lesson all those years ago, there were times I found myself upset at someone or something and by simply reciting in my mind “I could choose peace instead of this” the upset would dissolve. There were other times the lesson appeared to be of no help. I would say to myself “you know, you could choose peace”, but another part of my mind would say “heck no, I’m not doing that”. (Very much like the principles of the Sedona Method, I could just let go; but will I?) The brilliance that I didn’t recognize until not choosing peace multiple times, was that simply acknowledging that I had a choice helped to dissolve the upset. In knowing that I was consciously and intentionally allowing myself to be upset, I could find more satisfaction and even some joy in being angry or hurt.  (and in allowing myself to consciously have the experience, it moved through faster)
How do I choose peace?
We choose peace by recognizing that emotions are on the surface, like a wave on the ocean. And while the wave may take some time to move through awareness, just below the wave is peace. In effect, you dive below the surface to find the peace that is never disturbed. Even if you only put the upset on pause to drop below for a second, it will likely be helpful. In this way, you can move back and forth between upset and peace (kinda what we’re always doing) and eventually, peace will prevail because it aligns with you at your core.

How do you think your life might be different by recognizing that you can choose peace?

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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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